The Information Superhighway now has an updated rest stop for Chatham-Kent’s older adults – www.ckseniors.ca.
The website delivers information of interest to seniors, and also informs them of local activities.
The site has been around since 2011, but it is now a responsive site, meaning it will adapt its look to present well on tablets and smartphones, as well as typical laptops and home computers.
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The redesign was part of a needs assessment funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, which provided more than $88,000 for the project.
According to Devin Andrews, age friendly co-ordinator with the Chatham-Kent Seniors Advisory Committee and St. Andrew’s Community, the World Health Organization believes communication and the availability of information on community services for older adults are important factors in creating an accessible community.
Andrews led a press conference Jan. 17 to unveil the new website.
“If people in the community are active, they don’t age as rapidly and enjoy an improved quality of life. Not just physically active, but mentally as well,” Andrews said. “Communication and the availability of information are important.”
Andrews said the portal is designed to fill in potential information gaps.
“There are all kinds of interest throughout Chatham-Kent,” he said.
Rick Nicholls, MPP for Chatham-Kent Essex, lauded the web portal as an excellent communication tool for seniors to find out things to do and events to attend in Chatham-Kent.
“If people don’t know, they sit back and think there is nothing going on. It’s about getting out there and being active,” he said. “It’s all about the mind, body and soul. We have to keep our minds active.”
Faye Geddes, chair of the St. Andrews Residence board, said her group was proud to be part of the portal program.
“To contribute to a sustainable system for the quality of life for seniors in Chatham-Kent, we have to know what our seniors need and what’s happening in the community,” she said, adding the portal will help with just such communication.
George Darnley, chair of the Chatham-Kent Senior Advisory Committee, said the effort to establish a local web portal for seniors has been a long one.
“A big stumbling block was where is the money coming from,” he said.
Darnley said partnering with St. Andrew’s Residence has been a boon, and praised the efforts of Andrews.
“Devin has certainly moved us forward in the last six months,” he said.
Darnley said there are about a dozen senior centres operating around Chatham-Kent and are linked to the portal.
Geddes also credited the OTF for seeing the need for funding “our partnerships to react to the needs of seniors.”
Elaine Babcock, a volunteer with the Ontario Trillium Foundation, credited Shannon Prince, who was the lead reviewer for the foundation on the funding request for the seniors’ portal, as being “instrumental in seeing this project go through.”
Babcock added the foundation is proud of what the co-ordinated efforts of portal partners have accomplished.